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  • free hand table saw use

    I was watching "Holmes on Homes" the other day (very popular renovation show in Canada) and there was a guy cutting hardwood flooring planks freehand on the table saw.

    This flooring guy was a seasoned professional. I could only shake my head -he is asking for trouble and should know better.

  • #2
    Re: free hand table saw use

    I cross-cut freehand when the need arises, have been for years with no issues. Knowing what you are doing and paying attention is all it takes to do it safely.

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    • #3
      Re: free hand table saw use

      Me too. I know what I am doing.

      Someone once said: "It could never happen to me".......



      And then it did.


      I hear they put flowers on his grave every once in a while.
      ---------------
      Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
      ---------------
      “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
      ---------
      "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
      ---------
      sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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      • #4
        Re: free hand table saw use

        I free hand cut on a table saw a lot. Works awesome for coping trim pieces to unlevel flooring or walls close to door ways.

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        • #5
          Re: free hand table saw use



          Last edited by BadgerDave; 09-17-2011, 12:01 PM. Reason: An Erkel Moment
          Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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          • #6
            Re: free hand table saw use

            That's what the Massachusetts court suite was all about. When the Product Safety Committee decides in favor of Saw Stop, don't complain when saw prices double.

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            • #7
              Re: free hand table saw use

              "Spin the cylinder and pull the trigger".... CLICK! Must be safe!

              Yeah, I've seen a lot of guys do things that aren't safe, and their justification is "I know what I'm doing" and "I've never had an accident".

              Bottom line is that using a table saw "freehand" isn't safe and so far you've been lucky. While this may work (so far anyway) for you, my concern would be that someone else isn't using you as an example or learning from you.

              CWS

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              • #8
                Re: free hand table saw use

                I disagree. I do it all the time and have been professionally for years. No worries. A guy just has to pay attention and not cut anything that is to big to be safe.

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                • #9
                  Re: free hand table saw use

                  Originally posted by billmoy View Post
                  That's what the Massachusetts court suite was all about. When the Product Safety Committee decides in favor of Saw Stop, don't complain when saw prices double.
                  I have no use for Saw-Stop. Don't need it, don't want it.

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                  • #10
                    Re: free hand table saw use

                    i saw that same episode, franklin pug. freehand tablesaw use is a really bad idea.
                    there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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                    • #11
                      Re: free hand table saw use

                      A bit off topic, but... "Holmes on Homes" is a great show, watch it all the time here in the States. Mike is also on a new show, something like "All American Handyman" where they have to build stuff and a couple people get eliminated each show. I've only seen 2 episodes, but I have a big problem with one aspect of the show. They have to build something in a specified period of time, say an hour or 2. That means that they are encouraged to HURRY WITH POWER TOOLS...!! That is something that I refuse to do; I don't hurry in the shop, I don't hurry when I drive and I don't hurry when operating my sailboat. I'd be off the show in the first 15 minutes. But that's OK with me, I like my fingers. Hurrying is when you get careless and make mistakes.

                      Oh, and I wouldn't cut on the tablesaw freehand either.

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                      • #12
                        Re: free hand table saw use

                        I have done things with a chop saw that make me wonder wth I was thinking. I have free cut with a [edit] table[/edit] saw as well, slight curves to boot. Now I keep a jigsaw and coping saw with me at all times to avoid having to do that.
                        Last edited by masterbeavis; 10-04-2011, 12:02 AM.
                        We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

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                        • #13
                          Re: free hand table saw use

                          I'm confused on what you mean by free hand.....every table saw I've ever seen you have to push the wood.
                          If its close and I don't have a push stick handy I'll pull it the rest of the way.

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                          • #14
                            Re: free hand table saw use

                            Originally posted by IamVince View Post
                            I'm confused on what you mean by free hand.....every table saw I've ever seen you have to push the wood.
                            If its close and I don't have a push stick handy I'll pull it the rest of the way.
                            Good point Vince. I'll bet some of us (including me) are assuming that by "freehand" he means he is not using a fence or miter gage to guide the wood through the cut and is just holding on to the wood and pushing it through the blade with only his hands.

                            But, his definition of "freehand" might be not using a pushstick or similar tool to maintain clearance between his hands and the blade.

                            If its the latter case; for me I would say yes, there are many times when you can use only your hands to guide the wood through the cut. IF its the first case; ie NO fence or miter gage or other device holding or guiding the wood, and the operator is depending on themselves to guide the piece straight through the cut, I think that is dangerous and no amount of experience can protect you from that piece of wood with the pent up stresses in it that cause binding during a cut and can cause kickback. Didn't we have a thread here recently which demonstrated how dangerous kickback can be??

                            What does a 3"x3" piece of kickbacked Pecan do to someone?
                            Last edited by Bob D.; 09-18-2011, 07:21 AM.
                            ---------------
                            Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                            ---------------
                            “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                            ---------
                            "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                            ---------
                            sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: free hand table saw use

                              I personally think cross cutting free hand is a definitely NO no, riping with out a line light is a no no as well, but with a line light is reasonable safe, and the reason is one can hold the board in line, with the blade with out the line light it is very difficult and binding is most likely going to happen, on the cross cutting one can pinch a blade very easly,

                              but in general free handing (no use of fence or miter gage) in my opinion is a defiantly a NO No, but like I said I think one can rip fairly safely with the use of a line light, and chalk line as it works much like a fence for the operator, (it is just very difficult to keep a long or even short board in line with the blade with out some help),

                              but the best way to edge a board would be a power feed or a dedicated edger, which most do no have,
                              Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                              "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                              attributed to Samuel Johnson
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                              PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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